Non-conference update: West back on track for a record winning percentage

The non-conference update follows games pitting the Western Conference’s teams versus the East’s. This season, the West has often held a winning percentage so large it hasn’t been seen in over 50 years.

Over the month of February, the East put up a respectable fight against the West in non-conference play and ended a four-week span 40-46. It put the possibility of the West surpassing their best winning percentage of 63.3 at risk, having to go 71-35 for the rest of the season to set a new high.

Last week’s non-conference results made that mark reachable yet again, however, with the West going 20-8. Below is an updated week-by-week breakdown of non-conference matchups:

(Don’t ask about the colors I’ve been using to outline winning or tied weeks for the East. Both were random choices.)

Western Conference teams won all five games against the East’s heavyweights of Miami and Indiana, including Houston defeating both teams at home. Texas got the best of both of them overall, which isn’t that surprising. It also helped that LeBron James and Paul George, among other players from the two squads, each had an inconsistent week. Some of that blame/credit should go to the defenses of the squads they faced, however.

Even the lowly Kings and Jazz nabbed a couple wins. The Timberwolves, however, lost two games and saw their playoff hopes wash away. They beat Detroit, though, who I still can’t believe is 24-39, yet three games out from the free falling eighth-seeded Hawks team, but gives me no reason to believe they’ll make the playoffs. Maybe we’ll see Carmelo Anthony in the playoffs after all.

Below is a look at the league standings with non-conference games left. Conferences are separated by different sheets, so to view the West simply go to the bottom and click on sheet labeled after it:

Detroit’s seriously 4-20 against the West, putting them in similar company as Boston, Orlando, Philadelphia (POOR THADDEUS YOUNG), and Milwaukee. The only problem is that their record may be too good to keep their top-8 protected pick (good luck surpassing anyone below them but Cleveland). That, combined with not being good enough to make the playoffs, deciding on Greg Monroe this summer, and having Josh Smith and Brandon Jennings on the books until 2016, is about as going nowhere can get. Bad times all around.

Anyway, they have a winnable non-conference game at home on Tuesday against Sacramento, making for a matchup between Andre Drummond and DeMarcus Cousins. Fun, hopefully…!

Below are the rest of the non-conference games this week, 21 games overall:

To reach their record-high in non-conference winning percentage, the West will need to continue with a winning rate similar to last week. They play 15 road games to 6 home games, however. Playoff hopefuls from that conference play 11 games with four of them at home.

For the East’s title contenders, Miami plays two home games while Indiana has no non-conference games this week. We’ll get a good look at the Heat’s rematch against Houston on Sunday as well as Houston’s Thursday night game against Chicago and Joakim Noah, who I have a feeling will live forever or something else totally tubular.

Until next week.

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